The 8 Most Disgusting Animal Defenses

#4. The Spanish Ribbed Newt Takes Shanking to Another Level

Via David Perez

Found in the Iberian Peninsula as well as Morocco, the Spanish ribbed newt is 12 inches of slime-covered terror. They spend their day in cold water, under rocks or in crevices feeding on whatever invertebrate wanders close enough. They could be mistaken for any run-of-the-mill lizard, in fact, until somebody threatens it. At that point, they respond by inflating their ribcage so the poison-tipped ends of the ribs spike through their skin.

Via BBC Earth News

This crazy display is actually a two-step process. For stage 1, the newt weeps. Specifically, it weeps tears of milky poison.

Via BBC Earth News
My tears are like the toxic skin discharges of loneliness.

With that out the way, they're now covered in a nice sheen of deadly slime. Next, they angle their spine, pivoting their barbed ribs outward until they pierce the skin. Once the ribs poke through, they get coated in the sadness secretions, which, incidentally, was the name of their most recent Grammy-winning album. We're guessing at this point most of their predators get weirded out and just leave.

Um ... OK, I don't want your food that much.

#3. The Proboscis Monkey's Boner Threat

Named for their distinctive large nose, the proboscis monkey lives on the island of Borneo where it can be found in the mangrove forests, swamps and riparian areas hunting for seeds, leaves and fruits. The monkeys live in communities ranging in size from 10 to 30 members, and if you've ever lived in a dorm or shared a house with several roommates, you understand how quickly such a setup turns into a cold war of pettiness involving piles of other people's dirty dishes and clothes and passive-aggressive notes. This tension is no different for communities of proboscis monkeys. However, they throw down in a much more civilized way:

rage boners.


With their monkey boners at full strength, they spread their legs, show it to their opponent, and scream and shake the branches. It seems like an odd tactic, but try it the next time somebody rubs you the wrong way. See if they don't back down. Note: THE ERECTION PART IS VERY IMPORTANT. It also helps if you have a penis that is so bright red that you could signal a rescue plane with it while lost at sea.

This guy is like, three types of endowed.

#2. The Hoopoe Finds a Use for Anal Leakage

In 2008, the noble hoopoe was voted to become the national bird of Israel. With its beautiful plumage, bold disposition and a fierce loyalty to its family, citizens figured it was the perfect candidate.

Aw yeah.

It turned out they were wrong. This bird isn't all striking plumage and a distinctive battle cry. No, the hoopoe gained its official non-kosher status by defending itself in an officially non-kosher way. Whenever this little bird feels threatened, it turns its little hoopoe butt to the baddie, bends over and it squirts fecal matter right into the eyes of the predator.

But look how pretty!

In case a squirt to the eye wasn't enough to dissuade some predators from attempting to make a snack of it, the hoopoe makes itself further unpalatable by covering itself with a foul substance produced by a gland near its anus. Once the bird has bathed in its anal secretions, taking care to cover every feather with enough ass oil to make it shine, the hoopoe comes away from its anal-leakage bath smelling like, well, what anything that had just smeared ass juice all over its body would.

Boy, it really feels like we should make a reference to The Situation right now.

Aside from making itself too disgusting for predators to eat, it uses these secretions to keep parasites away and to fight off bacterial infection. That's right: The hoopoe's anal juice is so potent that even bacteria won't grow in its presence.

#1. Whales Use Shit Like Ninjas Use Smoke Bombs

The dwarf and pygmy sperm whales, like their larger cousin the regular sperm whale, do not get their name from the way they look like giant sea dildos. No, whales in this family get their name from the fact that there is a slimy whitish substance inside their heads. Early sailors cut open the whales, discovered the deposit of gooey gunk and thought to themselves, Boy does that look like semen. And the name stuck. That's not why they're on this list, of course.

"What beautiful creatures! Let's murder them and make crude jokes about our semen."

Dwarf and pygmy sperm whales, as their names suggest, are small and thus vulnerable to attack by predators. These little whales lack Monstro's bite size and his unruly disposition, preferring to keep to calm, deep waters, hidden away from danger. But when confronted by dangerous predators such as sharks or dolphins, the dwarf sperm whale secretes anal syrup into the water. It then stirs the water up with its fins making a cloud, and conceals itself within it. Once the danger has passed, the whale leaves its cloud of shit water and continues on its way.

Via Tony Wu Blog
Stay classy, pygmy sperm whale.

The dwarf and pygmy sperm whales are capable of producing enough shit to, well, conceal a whale, but what's truly amazing is that there's more whale crap where that came from. If pursued, a dwarf or pygmy sperm whale can release another cloud of excrement. And then another. One of the rare times when human beings actually had the good fortune to view these elusive whales in the wild, a mother and calf repeatedly hid in clouds of the mother whale's shit whenever passing dolphins got too close.

So does that mean that the dwarf sperm whale carries around copious amounts of extra excrement just in case? Are they vulnerable to attack if they've recently crapped out all the squid they'd eaten that week? No one knows. All we do know is that if you see a dwarf sperm whale in the ocean, you may want to rethink your trajectory.

The ocean is her own private bidet.

Crystal Beran can be found on her Internet home at and on Twitter at @cryssfox.

For more reasons we should be wary of animals taking us over, check out The 9 Most Mind-blowing Disguises in the Animal Kingdom and 6 Animals That Just Don't Give A F#@k.

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